WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

OK lets have a bit of fun and play about with some of the effects that can be found using GIMP, so open any picture you like and select the FILTERS > DISTORTS menu and we will start with the > APPLY LENS option. If it is available always make sure you put a tick in the ‘Preview’ box in the next drop down menu, then play around with the numbers and any sliders in the “Lens Refraction Index” box by clicking the small arrows on the right up and down, but don’t go too mad as this can ruin the overall effect. (Here I set the number at 2)
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Now try FILTERS > DISTORTS > BLINDS
This is a very simple way of slicing up your image and can give some useful results. Again make sure you have ‘Preview’ ticked and play around with choosing the Vertical or Horizontal effect of your choice. You may change the number of slices using the bottom slider and the space between them by using the top slider. (this setting was Horizontal, 30, 10)
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > CURVE BEND
Basically this will allow you to re-shape your picture, to understand the way it works first of all make sure that you have ‘Preview’ checked. The sub menu should be defaulting to having “Curve for border” UPPER selected and “Curve Type” as being SMOOTH. Look at the 16 square grid and it should be showing a line across the centre horizontally with a dot at each end. Click and hold down your mouse on the cross hairs of the very centre of the big square and drag the line vertically down by one complete box and release it. You should now see a downwards curve on the top edge of your image. Now under the “Curve for border” heading choose the other option which is LOWER and you should see another horizontal line in addition to your downward curve. Do exactly the same again, but this time drag the line UPWARDS by one square and release, you should now see another curve to your image rising from the bottom of your image. Clicking OK will implement the changes, play around with different settings to see all the variations that can be achieved.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > EMBOSS
Again this is another one that you need to experiment with, BUMPMAP will give a different result than using EMBOSS, but generally speaking both options will darken the image. Use the sliders and try out different settings as there is no hard and fast rules, you can always use the ‘Ctrl + Z’ option to keep undoing your trials.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > ERASE EVERY OTHER ROW
Fairly self explanatory and just requires you to change the choices in the three boxes. Basically you can choose to erase either columns or rows, choose either odd or even rows although this is unlikely to make much difference and you can also choose to erase the line or fill it with a background colour. Remember to set your background colour before you begin if you choose that particular option. Here I have used ROWS, EVEN & FILL WITH BG (remember that ‘Background’ colour is the back one of your two pallet colours)
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > IWARP
Another one to play around with the settings for some unusual results, try setting to “Swirl CCW” and set the top slider bar to 50 and the lower bar to .50 and drag your mouse diagonally across your image preview to see the effect, then experiment with the other combinations. Click OK to implement the final selection.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > LENS DISTORTION
This is a list of slider boxes that can change many aspects of your image from zooming and brightening, to adding vignettes and shifting the image sideways and up and down.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > MOSAIC
Fairly self explanatory and you just need to experiment with the slider bars to get a huge range of variations.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > NEWSPRINT
As the name implies this option with its many sliders and choices will create a news print texture from your image, another option that will take a lot of experimentation.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > PAGECURL
This is a very nice filter and it can be used with great effect on most images. The options available will allow you to curl the page on any corner and do both curls horizontally and vertically. You can see a small preview in the centre of the options menu to show the shape and direction you have chosen. Other choices are available such as using GRADIENTS and adding or removing a shadow, plus choosing the Foreground/Background colours you use.
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With a little practice it is possible to add this effect to incorporate other images into the main picture and to add more fancier coloured Page Curls such as in this example.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > POLAR COORDINATES
This option is useful for creating ‘Fish Eye’ type images and varies with the options you choose to use. This is another option that may be combined with a background or another picture with good effect. In my example I have used the sliders pushed all the way to the right.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > RIPPLE
Again practice will make this a useful option, change your settings and watch the thumbnail image for an indication of the finished result, basically it will create a ripple effect of your image. This may look OK on some whole images, but looks particularly good when applied to water. In my example I have used the SCIISSOR tool to only select the water and then added a RIPPLE to that selection only.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > SHIFT
This option will move or SHIFT the image in either a vertical or horizontal direction, basically it makes the image to appear to be dragged out in either direction, the higher the number the more pronounced it will be. The effect can be used quite nicely to convey wind or speed and may be applied to a full image or a selection.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > VALUE PROPOGATE
A difficult one to describe, but worth playing around with, most changes seem to happen if the MORE WHITE & MORE BLACK options are chosen and the top two sliders are set at opposite ends of the scale to each other. My example uses the MORE BLACK option with the LOWER THRESHHOLD set @ 0 and the UPPER THRESHHOLD set @ 225, this gives an effect of the picture having been taken later in the day.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > VIDEO
This is just another image altering effect that make the image appear to be made up of various shapes from lines, diamonds and dots, again just play around with the various options. My example uses LARGE STAGGERED and you can see how it can seem as though the image is painted onto artist board or similar.
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > WAVES
Another fun to use option that applies a series of oval distortions to the image, lots of options to experiment with if you move the sliders up and down to create different effects. Also try switching between SMEAR, BLACKEN & REFLECTIVE you will be surprised at the differences. My example is SMEAR, Amplitude set @ 50, Phase set @ 100 and Wavelength set @ 40
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > WHIRL & PINCH
An easy one to understand and it makes the image have a “disappearing down the plug-hole” effect to it. Setting the top slider bar below halfway will make a clockwise spiral and past halfway will make an anti-clockwise spiral. The PINCH will determine how tight the spiral will be and the RADIUS determines how much of the image is affected by the settings. In my example the WHIRL ANGLE is set at -100 (minus 100) the PINCH AMOUNT is set at 0.75 (zero point seven five) and the RADIUS is set at 1.4 (one point four)
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FILTERS > DISTORTS > WIND
Again fairly self explanatory as it gives a wind effect to the image, it does need to be used on the right image and when combined with the TRAILING option can make trees look wind blown, also try using WIND and BLAST for best results

So there you go folks, lots of effects for you to try out all under the FILTER > DISTORT menu, have fun.


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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Kiya »

Oooooooo looks like some fun :) maybe just what I need to give me a break from the Layer's ;)

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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

Colour Popping in Gimp

Today I thought we could have a look at ‘Colour Popping’
It is quite an easy technique and will give you some more practice using Layers.
The basic idea is to take a coloured image and remove all the colour from it (desaturate the image), then using the following technique we replace just one single colour so that it stands out.
Red usually works very well, but all ‘Prime’ colours can be used to good effect depending upon the image you have chosen.

For anyone who has seen the film Schindler's List, it was used to great effect when dramatic scenes of people being rounded up and sent to the gas chambers were filmed in Black & White, but one little girl was always shown wearing a bright red coat throughout the film.

1. Choose a suitable image and open it in GIMP
2. Make any adjustments to the image such as Hue/Saturation & Brightness & Contrast, then using the icon at the bottom of the Layers Pallet (blue box) or at the Main Menu choose the LAYER > DUPLICATE LAYER option to make a duplicate copy.
3. Make sure you are sitting on the duplicate copy (have it highlighted) and choose the option LAYER > TRANSPARENCY > ADD ALPHA CHANNEL from the Main Menu.
4. While still on this copy layer go to the Main Menu again and choose COLOURS > then DESATURATE and click OK at the next drop down menu.
5. Your image will turn from coloured to Black & White
6. Staying on that ‘desaturated’ layer, choose your ERASER tool from the TOOLBOX Pallet (green box)
7. Set the OPACITY level (magenta box) for the Eraser to 100% and adjust the size to suit your image, in my example it is set at 40.
8. Carefully erase around the shape of the object you want to ‘Colour pop’ in my case it is a single Tomato from the truss on the plant.

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Here is another example using a pot of flowers
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There is no limit to the types of images that can be used and I have seen good examples using such things as vehicles. It also works very well with models wearing bright lipstick or having nice eyes, here is one I did using a model cribbed off the web.
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Have fun ;)
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING A LAYER MASK IN GIMP

This ‘Mask’ feature can be a little confusing, but it is a very useful tool to use. In the above tutorial we used the ‘Eraser’ tool to remove the desaturated black colour from our top layer to reveal the colour in the image underneath. This method is OK to use, but there is a better way to do it by using what is called a ‘Layer Mask’.

So what is a Layer Mask? Simply put, it adds another layer alongside the one that you added it too, so now you have your original layer which may be anywhere in the stack of layers you are using for your image manipulation and a ‘Mask’ layer alongside of it.

When you add this Mask Layer it will look like a White rectangle alongside your thumbnail image and as you make any changes they appear on this ‘Mask’ layer and not on the actual thumbnail image (take a closer look to see what I mean).

The real advantage of using a Mask layer is that we can easily undo any changes we make, but maybe ‘undo’ is the wrong word to use because we can undo any changes we make by pressing the ‘Ctrl + Z’ key together. It would be better to describe it as modifying the changes we have made, so if we had say erased around a particular area, but then ………. we noticed we have made a small mistake and gone slightly over the edge and erased just a little bit that we wanted to keep, what can we do?

Well normally we would have to ‘undo’ our last action and that may also undo lots of painstaking work, what we really needed was a “magic paintbrush” that could just paint our mistake back in again and surprisingly enough one exists! It’s called a Layer Mask!

So how does it work? It works by using two colours, Black and White and a paintbrush instead of using an Eraser. Anything that we paint with the Black colour will be erased and anything we paint using White will be put back again. So you can see that by adding a Layer Mask we can select a suitable paintbrush size and we may set the opacity at anything we choose, although to completely erase something we need to be set at 100% opacity.

To have a go yourselves do the following:

1. Choose a suitable image and open it in GIMP.

2. Make any adjustments to the image such as Hue/Saturation & Brightness & Contrast, then using the icon at the bottom of the Layers Pallet or at the Main Menu choose the LAYER > DUPLICATE LAYER option to make a duplicate copy.

3. Make sure you are sitting on the duplicate copy (have it highlighted) and choose the option LAYER > MASK > ADD LAYER MASK from the Main Menu.

4. Keep the default setting of WHITE ‘Full Opacity’ click ADD and another icon will appear alongside the layer thumbnail.

5. Click on the thumbnail picture once again to make sure that the same layer is still highlighted.

6. While still on this copy layer go to the Main Menu again and choose COLOURS > then DESATURATE and click OK at the next drop down menu.

7. Your image will turn from coloured to Black & White.

8. Staying on that ‘desaturated’ layer, choose your PAINTBRUSH tool from the TOOLBOX Pallet and set the OPACITY level for the brush to 100% and adjust the brush size to suit your image, in my example it is set at size 20.

9. Make sure that your colour pallet is set to be showing Black & White with Black as the ‘top’ colour and White as the ‘background’ colour.

10. Now click your mouse pointer onto the MASK thumbnail BEFORE you start using your brush to paint in BLACK on your image.

11. Carefully ‘Paint’ around the shape of the object you want to ‘Colour pop’ in my case it is a red coloured tractor.

As you are doing so, notice that a solid Black shape will start to be visible on the WHITE MASK LAYER, this is your ‘Erased’ area and it allows whatever is on the lower layer to show through.

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You can see that I have deliberately strayed off the tractor outline in the above image and this has now made some blue colour from another tractor show through, there is also the man with a blue shirt that should not have been painted with the Black colour.

To remedy this mistake all I need to do is to switch the pallet colours by using the double ended arrows in the corner of the colour swatch icons. Now if I paint over my mistakes with the WHITE paint, it will return those parts back to being Black once more. If you look closely you can see the changes taking place on the Mask Layer as you work, although it is hard to see in these pictures.

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This is another good example of using Layers and a very useful thing to familiarise yourselves, the same principles apply to all the uses you may have for layer Masks.

Painting in Black removes something, while painting in White puts it back again.

Always remember when using a mask, YOU HAVE TWO THUMBNAILS SHOWING ON THE SAME LAYER LEVEL, one is the image and the other is the Mask.
YOU MUST MAKE SURE THAT THE MASK ICON HAS BEEN CLICKED BEFORE YOU PAINT, failing to do so will result in Black or white colours being applied to your image.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING THE QUICK MASK IN GIMP

OK let me ask you a question, “Have any of you ever seen or even wondered what that other little square does at the bottom left of your main programme window”?
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Well as we are discussing MASKS and we know that Masks act like another LAYER when we use them to do certain things such a Colour Popping. We have seen how to add ourselves a MASK in the above tutorial and all that this button does is to add a Mask a bit quicker, hence it’s name QUICK MASK.

At this point you may be asking yourself “If I can add a mask, why would I need to add a Quick Mask”? The short answer is that by using this button we can switch this QUICK MASK on or off as we please, or to put it another way we can ‘Toggle’ between on and off.

So how can ‘Toggling’ a Mask on or off help us to do something easier?

Lets find out by following this simple example:

1. As usual open up an image in your Gimp programme.
2. Use the ‘Rectangular Selection’ tool from your Main Toolbox and draw a border inside your image by holding down your mouse button and moving diagonally across the image.
3. Now click the icon in the extreme lower left of your programme window.
4. A ‘Quick Mask’ will be added and it will have an opaque red colour.

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Once the ‘Quick Mask’ has been added we can use it to create different effects. Some of the most useful will probably to add some fancy edges and borders to your images, so with that in mind let us add a fancy border by doing the following:

(a) Go to your Main Menu and select FILTERS > then DISTORTS > then WAVES. I selected the option ‘Waves’ and set all slider bars about half way.
(b) Now go to FILTERS > then BLUR > then GAUSSIAN BLUR and choose the option RLE and set the Vertical & Horizontal at 10 each. This stage is not necessary and only softens the wavy edges a little by adding the Blur.

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(c) Now click the QUICK MASK icon to ‘toggle’ it off again and you should see the mask disappear and only leave a series of ‘marching ants’ where the effects have been added.

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(d) Now go the Main Menu and choose SELECT > then click INVERT. Note at this point you will not notice anything happening on your image after you click invert.
(e) Finally go to EDIT > then choose FILL WITH BG COLOUR (making sure your ‘Background’ colour has previously been set to White.
(f) To finish, click your SELECT menu and choose the option NONE to remove the lines and clicking on another tool icon will remove the square.

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So this is another tool to be used in your photo manipulations and you should experiment with various options in the Filters menu and using Blurs to soften any edges, you can also try different colour for the ‘background’ colour in your pallet. Here are a few quick examples of using a Quick Mask to add some fancy edges to an image.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

MAKING A FULL PAGE COLLAGE & IMAGE RE-SIZING IN GIMP

If you want to fit more than one image onto a single page with no gaps as in my last image above, then the easiest way is as follows:

1. First of all you need to know how many pictures you are going to add, so for my example I will use 4.

2. Next you will need to know the size of the images you are using and it is best for them to be the same size as each other. They do not have to be any specific size, they can be 1280 x 1024, 800 x 600, 3000 x 1500 the actual size does not matter, but they MUST all be the same size for this tutorial.

3. It is easy enough to check the size by looking at the top of the page after you have opened the image and you will see the image size at the top of the page in the Blue bar at the top, something like: [0117] (Imported)-16.0 (RGB colour, 1 layer) 3648 x 2736 – GIMP, So the image size in this case would be 3648 x 2736.

4. The other way to check the size is to open the image and then click on IMAGE > SCALE IMAGE and you will see a dialogue box, the sizes in the top two boxes are your image sizes.

5. So once I have the 4 images that I want to use I need to get out my calculator and do a little sum. If I want to fit 4 images on the same background then it needs to be 4 times as big as the images I will be placing onto it.

6. Two images at 3648 wide each will be 3648 x 2 = 7296 and two images deep would be 2736 x 2 = 5472. So the new image would need to be 7296 wide by 5472 high to fit 4 images onto it with no gaps between them or around the edges.

7. At this point I should say that the new image size would be very big and may cause you PC memory problems, so it would be better to reduce all of your pictures to a smaller size so that the new image is under around 3500 pixels wide.

8. You can easily do this by opening the image and selecting the IMAGE > SCALE IMAGE option and in the dialogue boxes where it gives the width and height, look to the right and you will see a small downwards pointing arrow and the letters ‘px’ which stands for pixels and this tells you what the size is in the boxes is measured by.

9. If you click the arrow it will give a list of alternative options and one of them is percent (%) If you click on this option the numbers will change in each box to 100, this is saying that the picture is at full size (100%)

10. To make the image smaller type the number 50 into the top box and then just click anywhere in the other box and it too will change to 50, which is telling you the new size will be 50% of the original.

11. Once you click on the SCALE button the image will be re-sized to 50% of the original and if you look at the blue bar at the top you will see that the dimensions have changed to half the original size, in my case it would be 1824 x 1368 from 3648 x 2736.

12. We will need to do this to all the other images we want to use so that they stay at the same proportion as each other and depending upon your original image size you may put any figure in the % box from a tiny 5% or 10% to just a few percent reduction in size such as 98%, but the % in each box MUST be the same to keep the image proportions unchanged.

13. Make sure you do some calculations, then re-size and save all your images before you start your collage.

14. Unfortunately we need to do the sum again using the new sizes so 1824 x 2 = 3648 & 1368 x 2 = 2736, so our new size to fit 4 images will be 3648 x 2736

15. Go to FILE > NEW and type in the size you require based upon what we have done above and you should have an empty image with a White background.

16. Now choose FILE > OPEN AS LAYERS and go to where you have saved your collage pictures, click on one of them to highlight it in the usual way, but ………… now hold down your ‘Ctrl’ key whilst clicking on all the other images you want to use. All the images you select should have a blue highlight, when your finished click OK to import them into your big blank image.

17. You should now have all your pictures showing as layers, but they will look smaller than the main white picture (your new one) and they are stacked on top of each other like playing cards.

18. A good tip now is to go to VIEW and select > SNAP TO CANVAS EDGES by putting a tick by it. This helps you to position the pictures accurately in your larger image.

19. Choose the MOVE tool and carefully move each image so that one corner ‘Snaps’ into a corner of the larger white background.

20. Finally save your collage image by giving it a new name, all the images you used in your collage will still be on your PC to use again.

Always remember that when you re-size ANY of your images to ALWAYS save it with another name BEFORE discarding the changes you make in the GIMP programme. In other words you save the changed image by using another name and then say NO to saving any changes you made (to the original) in Gimp before closing the original image. This ensures that you still have the original image intact without any changes to it for use in the future.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

Adding a decorative border frame in Gimp

1. Open up a suitable image and add an Alpha Channel
2. Pull a rectangle that will be the inside of your frame
3. Go to ‘Select’ > and choose ‘Invert’
4. Make sure that your ‘Foreground’ colour is set to whatever you want it to be, mine is set to white and my ‘background’ is a sampled colour from my Butterfly
5. Now go to ‘Edit’ and select the option > ‘Fill with FG Colour’
6. Deselect everything by going to ‘Select’ then choosing > ‘None’
7. Now do the same again, but this time pull a slightly larger rectangle covering some of your ‘white’ border.
8. Choose Select > Invert again.
9. Again choose ‘Edit’ but this time select the option > ‘Fill with BG Colour’ which should be your ‘background’ colour, in my case it is the sampled colour from the wing.
10. Again deselect everything by going to ‘Select’ then choosing > ‘None’
11. Repeat the above, but make a slightly larger rectangle about halfway into the light brown colour.
12. Invert the selection again
13. This time fill with the ‘foreground’ colour again, ‘Fill with FG Colour’
14. Finish by deselecting everything.

I have added another rectangle to give me an outer border the same as the Butterfly’s wing colour, with care you may add as many or as few rectangles as you wish.
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A good tip is to use the ‘Colour Picker Tool’ (eye dropper icon) 2nd row down and use it to select a colour from your image, this makes for a better complimentary colour match for your borders.

This may now be saved as a finished image or used as the background image for a collage picture.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING TEXT IN GIMP (Part 1)

This is one of those things that is a little hard to explain without actually showing how it works, so I will describe small sections and hopefully it will buid up to a better understanding of how it works.

The first thing to know is that every time you select the Text Tool it will automatically add another layer for each piece of text that you add, so that means every time you click on a new place with the text icon selected, another layer gets added just for that individual piece of text.

This can mean you have many layers that can clutter up your image, so if you are sure you don’t need to modify the text, either by size or colour or font type, then you can always merge the text layers down.

Start by selecting the Text Tool icon, 5th icon, 3rd row down (blue box)

A Tool Options menu will drop down and we need to set up the options that we would like such as ‘Font’ type, the ‘Size’ of the font we are using and of course the ‘Colour’.

First of all click on the ‘Text’ button (magenta box) and you will see another drop down menu listing various ‘Font’ types to choose from. For clarity I have chosen ‘Excalibur SF’ by clicking on the icon alongside the name (green box)

Your chosen ‘Font’ is now displayed in the top dialogue bar (cyan box)

Note that all the ‘Font’ types are listed alphabetically which makes finding the same one again a little easier.

The next thing we need to set is the ‘Font’ size and can only be chosen with experience or trial and error, for your own trials try something about Size = 50 that way it will be visible to you.
Just ‘Highlight’ the box alongside the word ‘Size’ (red box) and type in a number, for my purpose I will be using the size of 150. Ignore the small box alongside that should be defaulting at ‘px’

Finally we need to set the colour we want the text to be in, this is easily done by double clicking on either the main Foreground/Background swatches (blue box) or the single swatch alongside the word ‘Colour’ (green box). Both options will automatically change the other to being the same colour, I have chosen Magenta for my colour.

You may also notice another item appearing on your workspace as you are setting up your preferences and it will look similar to the image inside the Bold Cyan Box.

You can easily make this disappear by clicking on another tool icon in the TOOLBOX after you have finished your text preferences.

As you do so the ‘Drop Down’ text menus will also disappear, but all your ‘Text’ settings will still be retained. When you actually come to use the ‘text’ tool again and click somewhere on your image it all the information will be displayed again as soon as you start to type.

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Practice doing the above settings.

You are now ready to enter some ‘text’ onto your image.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING TEXT IN GIMP (Part 2)

After you have familiarised yourself with setting up the Font Type, the Font Size and the Font Colour as described in Part 1 above, you are ready to add some text.

My own image size is 640 x 400 with a white background and my settings are Excalibur SF for the font and the font size I am using is 150 with the colour set as Magenta.

The first thing is to click anywhere on the image and you will see something similar to this. If you move your mouse somewhere else on the image you should see an ‘I’ bar pointer instead of the usual arrow.
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Clicking elsewhere on the image and starting to type should look similar to this, I am going to type the word ‘Example’ and here you can see the first letter a capitol ‘E’. Notice how all your settings have now become visible in the accompanying mini menu. Also note that the letter is enclosed within a large box with a smaller box on each corner (more about this later).
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As you type, the surrounding box will get longer to accommodate the text you have typed. Also note that although I have typed the complete word ‘Example’ you can only see up to the letter ‘L’ although the enclosure box has extended off the image with nothing visible in the end bit and part of the vertical stroke of the letter 'P' is also missing.
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Obviously the text does not fit on the image as we would like it to, so what can we do about it?
This is where the surrounding rectangle and the corner boxes come into play, so lets look at them a bit closer.

Move your mouse cursor over and around the main rectangle and see how the various adjusting boxes appear. If you hover over any of the four corners a small box shows up with an icon showing that you can move the main rectangle IN and OUT by pulling on that particular corner, you can fine tune the text rectangle within an image by adjusting several corners in or out.

Now go to each end and the top and bottom of the main rectangle and you will again see another slightly different icon. These are telling you that you may resize the rectangle by moving RIGHT or LEFT and UP or DOWN.
So you may make the rectangle proportionally larger or smaller by pulling on a corner, or make it Longer or Thinner by using the top and end icons.
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Here I have made the text fit inside my image window by moving the LEFT side across a little and by moving the TOP edge up a little.
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With the Text Tool still selected you may click elsewhere on the image to type in some new text if you wish.

If I now choose the MOVE tool from the TOOLBOX and make sure that I have the Text layer highlighted. (some times you need to click the move tool and the Text Layer a couple of times to make it select properly) then you can reposition the text within your image.

Once you have your typed in your Text, you can use the usual tools to manipulate it, but make sure you have the TEXT Layer highlighted.

You can Rotate it, Flip it, Copy the Layer, Resize it, even use your Bucket Fill to change the colour of all or individual letters, just remember to select the correct Text layer to edit if you have more than one.
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Try this out for yourselves, end of part 2
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

Using the GRID option in GIMP (Part 1 Basics)

Most people have seen or heard of GRIDS, but what are they and more importantly what do they do?

The quick answer is that they help you to position items more easily on your image. This could be a photograph that you are manipulating or it may be a plain background that you wish to add shapes or other item too.

The Grid is not visible by default, but can be ‘Toggled’ On or Off by selecting VIEW > then putting a tick alongside the option SHOW GRID by clicking on it. Do the reverse to hide the Grid again, VIEW > then un-ticking SHOW GRID by clicking on it.

If you do decide to use a GRID it is equally important that you ‘Set’ the grid properly, it is not difficult to do and grids are only any use if they suit the image you are using.

“OK grids are useful, but what do you mean by ‘suit’ the image?”
Well let me put it this way, all that a grid displays is a series of Horizontal & Vertical lines that sit on top of your chosen image or a blank canvas and they can be switched (toggled) on or off as described above.

So if you only need a few lines to use as guides, then it is no advantage to have loads of lines that obscure the image you are looking at. Neither do you want to be looking at lines where the colour is hard to see against the background image, blue lines against another shade of blue background would be a bad choice. So let us look at the following image and choose a suitable grid to work with it.

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Straight away we can see that the grid is far too small as we have hundreds of confusing lines and because of this the image is obscured, it is made worse by the Blue colour although at this density just about any colour would look bad. Fine lined grids such as this can have their place, but such an image would require a lot of zooming when it was being worked upon.

Let us take a look at the “Configure Grid” menu alongside the image as that will tell us quite a lot about the Grid itself.

Quite obviously the colour swatch (magenta box) is showing the colour of our Grid Lines, in this case it is Blue. Double clicking the swatch will allow you to choose another colour.

The drop down menu (cyan box) below the word “pixels” changes the type of units that are used, nowadays a good choice for UK user would be ‘mm’ which is the abbreviation for millimetres.

The figures in the ‘Spacing’ options (green boxes) are probably the most important and represent how many Pixels apart the lines will be, in this example they are 10 Pixels apart Horizontally and 10 Pixels apart Vertically.

The icon in the (red box) represents a link of chain and it may be ‘Toggled’ by clicking on the icon.
If the links are JOINED then the numbers in the ‘Spacing’ options (green boxes) will be the same as each other, so typing 75 in one box will make the other 75 also because they are ‘Linked’ hence the chain icon.

(Note: this ‘linking’ chain icon appears throughout the GIMP programme and means the same thing wherever you come across it.)

Therefore if the Hawk Moth image used here was 2220 pixels wide x 1670 pixels in height and the ‘Linked’ spacing was set at 10, then the grid would divide up as 2220 wide divided by 10 = 222 lines across and 1670 high divided by 10 would = 167 lines vertically, if you care to count them.

Now look at this grid which is set for the same image:

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First of all I have changed the colour (magenta box) to Green

I will leave the ‘mm’ setting (cyan box) unchanged.

This time I have ‘Broken’ the link (red box) by clicking on the chain link icon. This meand that any sizes I put in the ‘Spacing’ options (green boxes) will no longer be ‘Linked’ as they were before.

The reason for this is simple, I decided that I only wanted a small grid of 10 squares across and 10 squares down, but because my image was rectangular I needed to do a small calculation. As it was 2220 Pixels wide I needed to divide that number by 10 to get the size of my rectangle, so 2220 divided by 10 = 220, so that was the number I entered in the first green box.

Now for the size in the vertical direction, as it was 1670 pixels in height I again divided 1670 by the number of rectangles I required which again was 10, therefore 1670 divided by 10 = 167 which is the number entered in the second green box.

So after clicking the OK button my new grid is displayed which as you can see is more in keeping with what we need.

You will notice that because I have used exactly one tenth of the pixel sizes for each direction I actually have a rectangle rather than a square, but this suits the picture better. However there is nothing to stop you from making squares if that suits you better, but bear in mind that any pixels left over from choosing a spacing that does not divide equally will show as a partial square or rectangle on one edge of your grid.

Now practice making grids and change the sizes so that you get equal sized grids and lop sided grids just to see how the settings work. Try halving the number you used in the first green box and leaving the other unchanged and see how your grid shape will change, try using very small numbers and quite large ones to see the effect it has on the image visibility.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

Using the GRID option in GIMP (Part 2 Basics)

Now create yourself a new canvas with a size of 800 x 600 and give it a BLUE background.

Using the options available to you in the IMAGE > CONFIGURE GRID menu as described in Part 1 of this tutorial change the grid lines to RED and the ‘Spacings ‘ to 20 in each direction.

Now choose your ‘Brush’ tool and change the settings to give you a WHITE ‘Foreground’ colour, (magenta box) choose the ‘Round’ solid brush (green box) and give it a size of 5 (blue box).

Your canvas should look like the example below.
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Now using your new grid to assist you, draw the four diagonal white lines and the lines at each end that caps them off.

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In my best Rolf Harris voice “can yer see what it is yet Kiya?” :lol:
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

Using the GRID option in GIMP (Part 3 Basics)

Now that you have had the opportunity to practice drawing a few straight lines even with the aid of a GRID to see where you are going, I reckon that you will all be asking “surely there is an easier way?”

Fortunately there is a way, take a look at my best efforts to draw (in Red) a Horizontal line, not too bad although a bit squiggly near the end. Then a vertical line with similar results, but the Diagonal line was a real mess. Now compare those with the same examples that are drawn (in Blue) below them, I am sure you will agree that they could not be drawn much better.

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The secret is that you can draw any STRAIGHT line by doing the following.
1. First of all Left Click your mouse at the place you want to START.
2. Now MOVE your mouse pointer AWAY from that point, you do NOT have to keep your mouse button held down when you do this.
3. Press and HOLD DOWN your ‘Shift’ key (big upward pointing arrow).
4. As you do so you will see a cross appear at your STARTING point and a line that connects it to where your mouse pointer is now positioned.
5. Keeping the ‘Shift’ key held down, move your mouse pointer to another place.
6. As you move notice how the line will keep itself attached between the starting point and your mouse pointer regardless of where you move to.
7. When the SECOND cross is positioned where you want it to be, Left click your mouse and a solid line in the colour and width that you have set it to will appear between the two points.
8. This completes the line and you may repeat the process again if you wish.

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So drawing straight lines is easy, just remember to:
CLICK ON YOUR START POINT
MOVE YOUR POINTER
HOLD DOWN YOUR SHIFT KEY
CLICK ON YOUR SECOND POINT

So lets see some practice by using the intersections of your grid as a guide.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

Using the GRID option in GIMP (Part 4 Basics) Final

OK so you have all found out how much easier it is to use the above methods to draw your straight lines, so lets add on the last but probably most helpful feature when using the GRID. You have seen how to ‘Toggle’ the Grid on and off and how to set the Grid Lines to suit the image you are using. Now you have seen how by holding down your ‘Shift’ key you can draw straight lines between two points.

The last thing to learn about your Grid is to use the SNAP feature, this can be found by going to VIEW > then SNAP TO GRID and ensuring it has a tick against it. This feature can also be toggled on and off as required (sometimes the SNAP can be a hindrance)

So what does the SNAP actually do?
It does as it’s name implies and SNAPS! the cursor to the Grid, so instead of you struggling to position the pointer EXACTLY over the intersections of the grid lines or on the lines themselves, it will do it for you. Try it for yourselves, zoom in so that the grid is a bit more visible and move the cursor to the middle of a grid square. Now move slowly towards a horizontal or vertical line, as you get close it will automatically SNAP itself to the line. Just so long as you stay fairly near to the line it will keep itself attached as if a magnet is pulling it towards the line, in this mode you can ‘slide’ the cursor up or down or across the line and it will stay attached. If you want to Snap on an intersection of two lines just move towards the cross in a diagonal manner. Alternatively slide up/down or across until the intersection is reached and click to fix your first point.

Moving to another position and snapping to another line or intersection will be your second point. Use the ‘Shift’ key as in the earlier tutorial to see the line become visible between your two points, once again left click to confirm the painted line.

Remember that using the SNAP can be extremely useful, but you should also remember to turn it of for some freehand work otherwise the constant attempts to snap to the nearest line will become an irritation.
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING ‘PATHS’ IN GIMP (Part 1)

I want to start us off with a bit of general information about PATHS
No doubt you have all seen this as part of your Layers Pallet and wondered what it was all about, so to try and explain we will run through a few small exercises, but bear with me as this is quite hard to explain and you will need to practice small parts at a time to become familiar with what is actually happening, so please constrain your questions to just the part of the tutorial we are dealing with at the time.

First of all familiarise yourself with the PATHS TOOL on your Tools Main Menu, second row down and it looks like a Pen Nib. (blue box)
If you click on this icon you will see that the drop down menu (magenta box) will give you three main choices and they are:
DESIGN
EDIT
MOVE
Along side Edit & Move is a shortcut key that will do the same action if you also press the appropriate key and hold it down, so instead of selecting EDIT you may just hold down the Ctrl key.

Below these three options is a tick box to enable or disable the POLYGONAL option.

The final thing to remember is that a PATH is unlike other drawing tools and is mainly used to draw difficult shapes or to set out a ‘pathway’ that other things such as TEXT are able to follow. The main thing to note is that a PATH does not really exist until you do something else with it such as turn it into a solid line and although it can be used to shape text, the PATH itself can be made either visible or invisible. So think of a Path as something that can be used to do something else with, similar to the Marching Ants when you make a selection, they tell you what will be copied or removed, but they are not really a part of your image so think of a PATH the same way.

Lets start by creating a new blank drawing of 800 x 800 with a white background and set your foreground colour to Black.

Turn ON your GRID and in the IMAGE > CONFIGURE GRID change the spacing to 50 in each box and set the Foreground colour to Magenta.

You should now have a large grid with magenta lines on a white background. (this has no real significance other than for this exercise)

Now select your PATHS TOOL and make sure that the DESIGN option has a dot in the box and the POLYGONAL option is un- ticked.

Move your mouse pointer to the cross point of the 3rd square down and the 1st square in (green box) and click once.
3335

Now move your mouse pointer to the same position on the opposite side of the grid (cyan box) and click once more.
3336

Note how a straight line has linked the two points together, this is now the length of your new PATH, but it can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal and any length you choose to make it. (experiment with this later)

Also try moving your pointer away from the line and watch how a small + (plus) sign appears, this indicates that you may draw another line or any number of lines if you wish, but for now leave it as just the one line.

Next move your pointer to the circle at the left or right hand side of the line (green & cyan boxes) and hold down your left mouse button. See how a small square appears and the 4 pointed ‘Move’ icon is shown, this is to tell you that while holding the button down over this circle, you can drag it to a new position. Try this for yourself and then undo the changes using Ctrl + Z to get you back to a straight line again. The same thing will happen at the other end of the line or with ANY circle along your PATH line, but more of that later.

Now move to the centre of the line (dotted orange box) make sure you are actually on it and then click and hold down your left mouse button and drag it down by three squares and release it. (solid orange box)
3337

If you dragged it down vertically then it will look something like mine above, but there is nothing to stop you from moving it left or right to suit your requirements, or from dragging it a lot lower (see my examples below).
33383339

The shape you drag out is determined by what you want to do with it so there is no right or wrong shape for a PATH line.

So assuming that you have a similar one to my straight example pulled vertically, you will see that there are two additional vertical lines each with a small square at the top ends. (green & magenta boxes) Remembering what I said about being able to move the curve by holding down your mouse in the circle, try selecting one of the top squares and moving everything up or down.

Now do the same thing with one of the two lower squares (red boxes) and you will see that something completely different happens! Depending upon which side you moved, the curve on that side will start to change shape. This is an extremely useful function because we can now modify our shape to be anything we like by moving these end points around.
3340

To complete this part of the tutorial move the bottom squares of each line (red boxes) in from each side by 3 squares and see how the curve changes as you move them. You now need to practice this basic technique and see how pulling and moving the ends and centre of the lines can create some really warped and twisted shapes, but remember that the shape is not just some random shape and by using the grid and moving things in a precise manner it is possible to replacate a shape again, although for now just play about and have some fun making lots of shapes.

3341

To be continued.........
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING ‘PATHS’ IN GIMP (Part 2)

OK so you’ve all had some time to practice a few curves and you have probably noticed that as soon as you chose another tool from your Main Toolbox that all the lines disappeared again ………………
……….. OR DID THEY?

Let us start again and set up a new blank image as you did previously in Part 1

Again choose your PATHS tool and keeping the same settings make the following three curves.

1. From the intersection of the 3rd square down and the 1st square in from the left, make your first click and then move to the same position on the opposite side and make your second click. Move your pointer to the centre of the line and while holding down your left mouse button draw it down by two squares and release.

2. For your second curve go to the intersection of the 6th square down and the 8th square in from the left and make your first click. Now move to the 1st square up and the 1st square in from the bottom left corner. Move your pointer to about the centre of the line and while holding down your left mouse button draw it upwards towards the left hand side to the 8th square down and 2nd square in and then release.

3. Finally start at the 8th square down and 4th square in from the left a make your second click on the 1st square in and 1st square up from the bottom right corner. Click on this line at about the place where the 7th square in and 6th square up from the bottom left corner is nearest the line and draw it out and release it on the 8th square down and 3rd square in on the right hand side.

You should now have three curves similar to my own shown here:
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Now click on your PAINTBRUSH Tool …………………….. OH No! …………… what has happened? All my lovely curves have disappeared and it took me so long to draw them!
Or have they really disappeared? Lets find out.
Remember when I said that they were not really anything real until we used them I some way and until we did they would remain a bit ‘Ghostlike’ so lets see if we can make them visible again.

Take a look at your LAYERS PALLET and if it is set up the same as mine you should see some additional TABS along the top edge and they look like this:
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In normal condition s you will have the LAYERS tab selected so that you can see all of the layers as you edit your image, but you can also make use of the other features by clicking their TAB at the top to select that option.

Usually we have a LAYERS Tab, a CHANNELS Tab, a PATHS Tab and a HISTORY Tab although you may use other combinations or add and select various tabs, but these will probably be the most useful to you.

Now click on the PATHS tab (magenta box) and the first thing you should notice is that there is a small thumbnail the same as you see in the Layers Tab and if you look closely you will see the three curves that you previously drew, so they were not lost at all ……………. Phew!

If you now move your pointer to the left hand side of the thumbnail image a couple of grey squares will be visible, click on the LEFT hand square (green box) and hey presto! Your curves will become visible again and even if you click back and select your normal LAYERS tab they will still be there.

So that is how you make the curves you have drawn become visible, simply select the PATHS tab and enable the ‘Eye’ icon. To make them invisible just go to PATHS and deselect the ‘Eye’ icon again, these changes will also take place on your Layers tab. It is normal for the current curve line to be displayed as a RED line.
3344

For the purpose of this exercise we placed all of our curves on the same Layer just to keep things simple, however anything we put on the same Layer always has the same changes applied to them, so in the future when we start to use curves more often, we need to remember this. So if you intend to use curves (paths) for different things or apply different colours to them then you should put each curve (path) onto a separate Layer as you would do with any other drawing items you create when using normal Layers. So had we placed each of our three curves (paths) onto a separate LAYER, when we selected the PATH Tab we would have seen THREE thumbnail views, one for EACH curve (path) we drew on EACH Layer. Each of these PATH curves (paths) may be switched ON or OFF as we decide, so we may want to have curves (paths) 1 & 3 visible while switching OFF curve (path) 2. Think of it as behaving exactly the same way as the visibility of your various LAYER views, some may be ON while others are better with the visibility switched OFF

So after following the instructions for creating the Three Curved PATHS, do some practice and this time instead of putting all three curves onto the same LAYER make another two DUPLICATES of your original White Background & Grid Layer and rename them Curve 1, Curve 2 & Curve 3 and draw one curve onto each LAYER then switch over to your PATHS Tab and see the three separate thumbnails and try switching the visibility on and off for different layers and see the results.
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IMPORTANT: You will need to select another tool such as the Paintbrush after you draw your curve in order to deselect the Path you have just drawn. Then change to your next Layer and choose the PATH tool again and draw your next curve, continue with selecting and deselecting the PATH tool for each Layer you draw on, otherwise all your curves will be on the same layer.

Note: The thumbnail you have highlighted in the PATHS Tab will show as RED on the main image page, all others will be BLUE
3346
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Re: WORKING WITH GIMP SOFTWARE

Post by Horus »

USING ‘PATHS’ IN GIMP (Part 3)

OK I know you are getting a little bored, but I cannot make this tutorial any more exciting, so just try to look at it as something you need to know and it will be a useful addition to your editing skills when you need to utilise a PATH at some future date, so to continue.

Start by opening up another image and adding the curve path as we did in the start of the tutorial and add your line starting at the 8th square down and the 1st square in from the left and finishing at the same position on the opposite side.

Now select the exact centre and drag it down vertically to the 3rd square down and release it.

Now remembering the previous parts of this tutorial you can click anywhere on the curved line and from that point drag the shape in any direction. Alternatively you can click on the squares at the ends of the line and use these to ‘move’ the whole curve to a new position. You can also change the curve shape by clicking one of the square boxes at the bottom of the two vertical lines and use them to pull or push the shape of the curve. However all of these methods only affect the one curved line and generally speaking they only distort the one curve shape that we have made.

We can change this by using the second option in the drop down menu and that is EDIT, so click on this option and ensure that a dot is visible in the adjacent circle.

Click your mouse pointer on the exact intersection of the lowest part of the curve line and you should see something like this.
3348

Notice how the two vertical lines at the end have disappeared and been replaced by a single horizontal line with a small square at each end. This line and the small squares behave exactly the same way in some much as you can use them to distort the curve shape in two directions.

Next move the two ends of the horizontal line (green circle & blue circle) to the new positions shown by the matching coloured circles on the grid by left clicking and dragging them.
3349

And it should look similar to this, note how we now have two curves going in different directions.
3350

We can add further points along this line by simply clicking your pointer anywhere you choose. Each time you click a new point the last one will change into a circle and the newest one will be a circle with the straight line attached. Add yourself another three points in the places indicated by the (magenta circles) and you should finish up with something similar to this.
3351

If you now click on any of the circles you have along your curved line you will notice that it becomes the active one and the line will appear that has the two small boxes at each end. So by clicking on different circles and then either of the two boxes it is possible to drag the line in any direction you wish or to make it longer or shorter. By choosing different points or by adding more if you need them it should be possible to warp the line into almost any shape you require. You can even make the two ends twist past each other as in the example of the ‘Ankh’ shape in this image.
3352

The last option you can choose from is to select the POLYGONAL option, this option can be used with all the other options such as DESIGN & MOVE and generally speaking it works in the same way. You can add more points along the line and they can be manipulated exactly the same way as you did when the option was not selected. So what does POLYGONAL actually do? put quite simply it draws in a series of straight lines and not as a curve, so it is useful for creating regular shapes like for example a star. This example was done using the POLYGONAL option and comprises of just a single line with many points added, but it is still a PATH.
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So now you have something to play around with so practice distorting the line you have or make some new ones and practice with those.
(DON’T FORGET TO SWAP BACK BETWEEN DESIGN & EDIT MODE) With a little practice you can learn how to make smoothly blended curve by adding more points and carfully moving and dragging the points around, so watch the line as you move the various points about.
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